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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Characters with naturally bad stats

    This doesn't apply to any particular game system so I didn't put a tag in the title.

    Have you ever rolled HORRIBLE but legal stats on a character and been stuck with them? What did you do about it? I have a great concept lined up, but the barely legal stats i've rolled make me feel like i'm gonna waste the idea on them. The DM wont let me roll again, saying it's the luck of the draw, which I understand but it feels kinda crappy to have my character gimped before it's even wirtten up :(

    Er, to go back to the original question.. What have people done/would people do in this situation? I've played a character like this before, but this campaign is a real tough one, lots of demons and Dismissal is banned. The other characters are very powerful and I don't wanna be a dead weight.

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    If this is about 3.5, I have a good soloution, though it will take careful moves and persistience.

    Play a Druid! All you really need is a Wis score above 11. Have crappy STR, Your companion can be your muscle. Bad DEX, wear medium armor and ride on your pet for speed. Blowful CON, use your pet as a meat shield and layer on the armor to make the most of being attacked. Moronic INT, you get fair skill points each level, and have a few Knowledge skills. No CHA, you get +4 to command your pet, can retry free actions to handle it, and violence normally solves problems anyway.

    Best of all, if you should survive to 5th level, you get Wild Shape and your stats don't matter at all any more! NO ABILITY MODIFIES WILD SHAPE- the ultimate get out dumpstat jail free card!

    To keep up with the party spell wise, take craft magic item: if you have a meager 11 WIS at creation, you can improve it to 12 at 4th when you also get 2nd level spells! Then you can just make yourself perapits of wisdom to allow you to master even 9th level spells as a dunce!

    Put THAT in your RPGA and smoke it!
    Last edited by No brains; 2011-01-24 at 05:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    My last character with horrible stats was a dwarf noble in Dragonlance 3.5. I put my best stats (13 and 11..) in dex and charisma, and took Exotic weapon: repeating heavy crossbow. He was basically the 'old patron' of the party, with his age reflecting his generally horrible physical stats. Crossbows don't use strength and the base damage was high enough that I didn't feel completely useless in combat, plus being the party face was easy enough to do with role-playing to offset my poor base bonuses.
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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    You mentioned that you had a specific concept in mind. Maybe you could post it and the people here help you to make it work with the stats?
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    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    Been there, done that. The main thing to do is what people with bad stats do in real life... make the most out of what they have. Look at what you can do in the system that will make your low attributes less important. Build a character idea around the fact that you have low stats.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    There's another option. Play an Artificer, optimise to taste. Really, Artificers don't need anything but gold and XP, and those can be dealt with if you have a group of Suckers Party Members to Exploit help boost the power of.
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    Well, strangely enough a faction with Reputation 0 and history of past betrayals proved itself to be rather untrustworthy. My hat is off for the Mothriders.

    Damn, about 29 stats in one swipe. Since I'm clearly the next I'm booby-trapping every inch of the Maze.

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    One option is to play a Tier-1 caster (or any class a tier or two above the average for your party.). You won't be quite as good as someone with the same class but better stats, but you'll still be far from a dead weight. If anything, you'll still want to think of other believable ways to limit your character so he/she doesn't outshine other party members.

    You might want to rethink the character concept too, and come up with one that fits naturally with the lower stats. The fact that he's not the most brilliant mind in wizardry or the most naturally inspired of clerics can be an interesting change from the incredibly gifted characters we often play...and make it all the more satisfying when he perseveres through sheer grit, and changes the world anyway.


    EDIT: Wow, ninja'd many times! Advice still stands, though.
    Last edited by mucat; 2011-01-24 at 05:38 PM.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    I'm stuck in a bit of an annoying situation. I had a great idea for a character and it's just not viable anymore. One of the other players advised me to make any random character, get killed ASAP, and then try again for my intended build

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    Depends on the system, and the campaign style.

    Older campaign styles were pretty much designed around the assumption that this would happen to folks. IIRC, older D&D versions were much flatter around bonuses (except for some of the exceptional strength stuff). The given idea that you'd be changing characters with some regularity took some of the sting out of it.

    I don't think I'd force somebody to do it in a more modern game, though. Dealing with poor stats is fine for a while (especially if you know that it's not permanent), but being outshined by someone else, persistently, for the entire course of a campaign ain't much fun.

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    Play a class that doesn't need stats to be effective; Classic choices are Binder and Warlock.

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    Basically, if you have bad stats, play something that ignores those stats.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    I'd rather play something I want badly than something I don't want well, at the end of the day. Rock <- Me -> Hard Place

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    If the game uses random character generation it's pretty much useless to design your character beforehand. You just go with what the dice tell you and make the most of it, as has been said.

    Besides, it's the GM's decision. Everyone knows that there's a chance of some characters turning out less potent than others. Just have fun with it and try to survive as long as you can with a more down-to-earth sort of character.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    Personally, I would say follow 'No Brains' -not a very apt name, all said- advice and become a druid. No matter what you do, you will be an asset to the party.

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    Best thing to do when your DM refuses to let you re-roll. Change the character concept into something you don't want, something suicidal. And die.
    Then you can re-roll with hopefully better stats and the concept you want.

    BAM.
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    Lots of good advice above.

    However, if your stats truly stink, I've got a somewhat different suggestion. Make lemonade out of those lemon stats. Shelve that really cool concept for now and play a failure instead.

    We get the opportunity to play superheroes relatively often. But we don't often play the supporting cast, and there is some fun in that, too. So you could try playing the nebbish who has absolutely no business being in the room when the $&!# goes down. You know, the kind of characters Rick Moranis and Joe Pesci generally play.

    It's hilarious comic relief and if you live, you can honestly say you totally beat the odds. If you die, well, it's not exactly a surprise and the GM is probably not going to force you to play two characters like that in a row.

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnCJ View Post
    One of the other players advised me to make any random character, get killed ASAP, and then try again for my intended build
    I would count that as "in-game response to an out-of-game problem," which is never a good thing to do.

    I'm no longer sure what you're asking us. You asked what people would do in that situation, but you don't seem to like any of the viable options. The remaining one, of course, is to talk to the DM and work out a compromise that lets you both enjoy the game. You said you've tried that and had no luck, but if you really aren't looking forward to this game anymore, explain that to him calmly and ask him to help you find a solution.
    Last edited by mucat; 2011-01-24 at 06:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    I'd ask the DM why isn't he using point buy. Seriously, there is a reason why pretty much all serious modern RPG did away with random character generation: because it really sucks to be the guy who rolled crappy stats.

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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    Curious, i'm actually dropping a Druid for this character as I never really gelled with it, so rolling another one would be a bit, err... Well, seems pointless, particularly as the new one would be a level lower, MUCH weaker, and much poorer, as well as having no background with the party.

    Mastik, i've been suggested that by 2 party members now. To be honest, i'd rather not go that route but it's a possibility.

    Grelna, I actually kinda like this suggestion. I wonder how long I can survive running a bit of a punchbag? Dwarf Barbarian for sure.

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    I would go with Grelna's suggestion. There is much glory to be found in playing a character that survives by wit and luck, instead by talent. A level gained will be a level hard earned. A level 1 barbarian with 18 Con will survive much more, but survival for a level 1 barbarian will mean much more.

    The going will be tough, but when the going gets tough, the times get interesting.

    [dad]It will build character. [/dad]

    But then again, being outshined sucks. Try to find a role in which you can be unique. And try to speak again with the DM instead of suiciding your pc.

    EDIT: And about worries about being a punchbag; remember that there's a lot of chance in the game. I've seen pc's with low hp survive and pc's with high hp die. Death and life is more about tactics than high or low abilities.
    Last edited by some guy; 2011-01-24 at 07:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnCJ View Post
    I'm stuck in a bit of an annoying situation. I had a great idea for a character and it's just not viable anymore. One of the other players advised me to make any random character, get killed ASAP, and then try again for my intended build
    That's possible, but I don't think highly of it.

    Yes, you can try to pursue the build you want, but that build will probably be feasible at some other time in the future. These are the cards you've been dealt. Make the best of them. Try to figure out ways to make it effective and meaningfully contribute. Explore other parts of the rules, and see what you can come up with.

    Not everything has to be about having the perfect build for what you want to do. It's equally possible that your character WANTED to be a big and powerful wizard, but couldn't cut it... so he struck a deal with a devil and is a warlock. Or he hoped to be a big and powerful fighter, but never could get over his childhood asthma... so he started binding the spirits of warriors to himself, letting him be who he wanted. Most powerful and frightening wizard I've ever seen? My younger brother's wizard Marsael, with only a 15 intelligence. Despite being in a party with a dual-classed thief/wizard with an 18 intelligence. He was powerful and scary because he was played will, making the most of what he had. His missed a few key Chance to Learn Spells rolls, and had to make do with what he had.

    Stretch your legs. Step outside your comfort zone. Make a character memorable in spite of his stats, not because you tweaked the build to epic levels.
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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    What are these stats? That'd probably help.

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    I feel I should make a quick post to add some background to this. I made this thread pretty much out of frustration, and I should quickly explain.

    I've played DnD for about 6 years now, and in that time I've run many characters. Some have only lasted 2-3 sessions due to death, replacement, etc. Others more than a year, basically until their campaign ended. In all that time, I've never rolled over 15 in a stat. I've also never rolled stats without at least a -1 somewhere. For whatever reason, my luck rolling stats is awful. It's become a running joke in the group.

    Normally this isn't a problem but this particular campaign is hard as nails, and the party can't afford dead weight. As a group we've never really optimized much before but only the strong survive here. I don't want amazing stats, I just want a fair shot at having the same start as the others. Rolling this badly every time has gone beyond fun for me and just become painful.

    Edit: 15, 13, 11, 10, 9, 9 Total mod of +1. legal by RAW, just.
    Last edited by CapnCJ; 2011-01-24 at 07:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    Quote Originally Posted by Rixx View Post
    What are these stats? That'd probably help.
    It might not even be 3.5; he posted it as a systemless thing.
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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnCJ View Post
    Edit: 15, 13, 11, 10, 9, 9 Total mod of +1. legal by RAW, just.
    Let's see...

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnCJ View Post
    I feel I should make a quick post to add some background to this. I made this thread pretty much out of frustration, and I should quickly explain.

    I've played DnD for about 6 years now, and in that time I've run many characters. Some have only lasted 2-3 sessions due to death, replacement, etc. Others more than a year, basically until their campaign ended. In all that time, I've never rolled over 15 in a stat. I've also never rolled stats without at least a -1 somewhere. For whatever reason, my luck rolling stats is awful. It's become a running joke in the group.

    Normally this isn't a problem but this particular campaign is hard as nails, and the party can't afford dead weight. As a group we've never really optimized much before but only the strong survive here. I don't want amazing stats, I just want a fair shot at having the same start as the others. Rolling this badly every time has gone beyond fun for me and just become painful.

    Edit: 15, 13, 11, 10, 9, 9 Total mod of +1. legal by RAW, just.
    They don't seem so bad. You could take a +0/+1 LA race with a good boni and probably play what you want. Here for example you can find a list of all lesser planetouched, some with rather nice stat boni.
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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnCJ View Post
    15, 13, 11, 10, 9, 9 Total mod of +1. legal by RAW, just.
    Those aren't terrible...though they might not work with the concept you wanted to play. What was this concept?

    If you want to salvage those stats, you might try something like this: middle-aged wizard (so all those odd stats either go up by one, gaining you an extra +1 modifer, or go down by onw, costing nothing.)

    Then before level increases, you might have:

    Str 8
    Dex 10
    Con 12
    Int 16
    Wis 10
    Cha 11

    Not great, but they'll leave you perfectly able to function as a wizard...which in turn means you'll be pulling whatever fraction of the weight you choose to.


    Having said all that, I prefer Grelna's idea of playing a schlub who is desperately over his head. Give him a background story that makes you want him to succeed, and see if you can beat the odds. He can still pull his weight...he just has to try harder and be more creative.

    Don't have him spend combats making attack rolls alongside the people who are better at it than he it. Have him use terrain. Light things on fire. Dislodge rockslides. Cut chandeliers down. Break ice. Overturn boats. Charge into places he's not supposed to be. Sprint across free-fire zones to rescue downed comrades. Take lots of chances, but don't actually try to get him killed...just try to make him history's most badass schlub. Spit in the face of the Fates that wanted him to be a file clerk.
    Last edited by mucat; 2011-01-24 at 08:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    Quote Originally Posted by mucat View Post
    Don't have him spend combats making attack rolls alongside the people who are better at it than he it. Have him use terrain. Light things on fire. Dislodge rockslides. Cut chandeliers down. Break ice. Overturn boats. Charge into places he's not supposed to be. Sprint across free-fire zones to rescue downed comrades. Take lots of chances, but don't actually try to get him killed...just try to make him history's most badass schlub. Spit in the face of the Fates that wanted him to be a file clerk.
    In short... be R2-D2. ;-)
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    You could take a ton of luck feats, go into Fortune's Friend, and just rely on luck for stuff. Could work for someone who isn't naturally talented.

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    Default Re: Characters with naturally bad stats

    Be a warlock. You hit touch AC and your decent invocations require no saves. At level one, all you really need to do is throw a bunch of spiders at someone.

    For a bit of mozzarella goodness, be evil, get something like a Gray Elf, put your 15 in Cha, 13 in int, so it's 15, go, go Warlock 2/anything with a good will save 1, and take Dark Speech, and then have fun summoning level 88 sorcerers with Cha of 106. Wish away the ability damage, wish up +5 to each stat, and enjoy abusing the wording of suggestion to have epic level sorcerers at your command.

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